8 Reasons X-Men: Apocalypse Doesn't Deserve The Hate

It has been given some pretty harsh reviews, but is that fair?

XMen Apocalypse Professor X

The most recent X-Men movie has undoubtedly been met with a very mixed reaction over the past couple of weeks. While it hasn’t had the critical mauling that Batman V Superman faced, it is fair to say the reaction has been muted in comparison to the rapturous reception Civil War (deservedly) received when it opened. 

The film currently has a 51% rating on Rotten Tomatoes (at the time of writing), and has been met with some very harsh criticisms from fans who seem to feel that the film was a catastrophe. This is really strange because the film might not be perfect but it definitely is not a bad film. In fact, it's probably one of the better entries in the X-Men cinematic universe.

I’m not an X-Men fan. In fact, I’m not even a huge Marvel fan. I grew up reading DC, and can count on one hand the amount of X-Men comics that I own. I also had astonishingly low expectations for Apocalypse, because the trailers looked utterly atrocious.

So perhaps it’s simply a case of ignorance, or maybe it’s because I wasn’t expecting much from Singer’s fourth entry into the X-Men canon. But whatever the reason, I really enjoyed X-Men Apocalypse, and I feel it’s getting a pretty bad rap. 

Simply put, it was nowhere near as bad as people are claiming it is, and here's precisely why...

8. The Direction Is Beautiful

XMen Apocalypse Professor X
20th Century Fox

Even when Bryan Singer doesn’t make a particularly good film (think Superman Returns or Valkyrie) he always demonstrates himself to be a gifted craftsman. X-Men Apocalypse is no different in this regard. The camera direction is utterly gorgeous, and Singer’s direction of the camera is so clear, that you could probably watch the movie on mute, and explicitly understand the themes and emotions he is trying to portray.

There is always a lot of focus on how the X-Men films present socio-political themes through characterisation and narrative – like in First Class how prejudice against mutants is analogous for prejudice against homosexuals. However, because of this, we are sometimes guilty of overlooking just how much we can actually learn about the art of filmmaking from directors like Singer.

In the case of Apocalypse, the camera moves a lot, but Singer eschews the Bourne style handicam shots that have become increasingly popular in large action set pieces.

Instead, he tries to use angles, actor positioning, camera trickery, and movement to help emphasise the inner motivations and emotions of characters he is focusing on. The film is transparent with its continual emphasis on camera work, which makes it both engaging, and somewhat challenging.

This kind of camera direction is adaptation at its best. Rather than simply regurgitating comic book panels onto the screen, Singer focuses on using his chosen medium to completely reshape and refashion a story, while staying true to its roots.

It is a gorgeous watch I would happily sit through again.


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